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Looking Ahead, the Spruce Foundation Revamps Events, Streamlines Grantmaking

September 15, 2014 Category: FundingUncategorized

The Spruce Foundation, an all-volunteer grantmaking organization led by millennials, is preparing to overhaul its programming and events.

Formed in 2007 by a group of high school friends interested in giving back, Spruce has formalized over the years. It now awards $5,000 each to four nonprofits serving youth in core issue areas — health & wellness, education, LGBTQ, and the arts.

But Spruce’s primary fundraising vehicle, a spring gala, had become cumbersome and pricey. Instead of focusing on cultivating young philanthropists, board members were entrenched in event planning, according to Kristyn Stewart, a vice president at Spruce.

“After gala this year, we had a lot of questions about whether our fundraising methods were the best,” Stewart said. “We wanted to refocus our events on building thought leadership around philanthropy as well as continuing to strategically fundraise for our grantees.”

Spruce’s monthly engagement events over the fall and winter will be priced lower, and next April, it will throw an ‘un-gala.’ Ticket prices will be halved.

“We’ve always raised $20,000, and that’s amazing, but we want to refocus on our mission of engaging young professional around the importance of philanthropy,” Stewart said. “Anyone can be a philanthropist.”

Spruce’s grantmaking process and leadership will also change.

Unlike last year, the online application will now open in December on Giving Tuesday, and ten new members, representing a range of diverse industries, joined Spruce’s board this month.

“The board members who are stepping off are the last who have been there since the founding group,” Stewart added. “It’s the next era for us and we’re all kind of excited about that.”

This story was updated with information to better reflect the Spruce Foundation’s new direction.


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